Bombeck hits the bull's-eye with this wry meditation on the art of surviving one's long-dreamed-of and hard-earned exotic vacations. Huddled in a lumpy bed in Papua New Guinea, listening to a tribal war play itself out in the street outside her hotel room, Bombeck reflects on the privileges earned by a life of hard work, prudent financial management, and a taste for adventure. Over the years, not only have she and her husband (as well as, at the worst of times, her three reluctant adolescent kids) been blessed with the chance to drag 50-pound suitcases from airport terminal to taxi queue to hotel lobby to hotel room and back again (or else, when the luggage is lost in transit, to spend two weeks in Tahiti in three-piece suits), but they have splurged on bus tours that allotted 15 minutes to view the Book of Kells in Ireland and an hour and a half to tour a sweater factory; on a private car whose driver spoke English like an Italian Henry Kissinger with a lip full of Novocain; on a villa in which the staff spoke only Spanish and the guests were reduced to rubbing their tummies at the cook and saying, ``Yummy, yummy!''; and on a glamorous cruise through the fjords of Norway, where Bombeck and spouse ate 17 meals a day and outgrew their clothes, only to find half the crew camped out in the exercise room. Worldly wisdom gained by years of experience with Turkish bathrooms, Montezuma's revenge, and transporting native spears home on American airlines has impressed on Bombeck the basic commonality of all cultures and has inspired her to suggest that instead of stockpiling nuclear weapons we should aim our vacation slides at one another. Classic Bombeck, in which she does away with any notion of an empty-nest syndrome. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for August.)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-06-018311-X

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?



Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

Did you like this book?